Rick Peckham's journey from growing up a sports fan in Dayton, Ohio to preparing to receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster started by turning on the television in 1970 and seeing Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr.
Peckham, the television voice of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past 24 years and the Hartford Whalers for the prior 11, was announced Monday as the recipient of the award, which is recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame and makes him a media honoree.
He joined co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke on the NHL @TheRink podcast this week to discuss what the award means to him and reminisce about his 42-year career in broadcasting, including how he got started and why he's retiring after this season.
"I wasn't really following hockey and then I saw Bobby Orr and the Bruins on CBS one day on a Sunday afternoon and I thought, 'Wow, I'm going to start paying attention to this,'" Peckham said. "I became an instant Bruins fan. This is the year they won the Cup, in 1970. By then I already had strong feelings about pursuing a career in play by play in sports and had followed a lot of different sports. I just stated to focus more on hockey. … It seemed like that was the path that made the most sense to me and here we are 42 years later, and it's certainly worked out."
Mike G. Morreale, a staff writer for NHL.com and co-host of the NHL Draft Class podcast, also joined the show to discuss the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery and many of the top prospects.
The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft will be determined by the Second Phase of the lottery because the First Phase, conducted June 26, determined that one of the eight teams that loses in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers as part of the NHL Return to Play Plan will receive the No. 1 pick. Each team eligible will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning it.
In his latest mock draft for NHL.com, Morreale had left wing Alexei Lafreniere going to the still to be determined team selecting No. 1, center Quinton Byfield of Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League to the Los Angeles Kings at No. 2 and left wing Tim Stuetzle of Mannheim in Germany to the Ottawa Senators at No. 3.
Rosen and Roarke also talked about the reports that Edmonton and Toronto could be named the two hub cities for Phase 4 of the Return to Play Plan, and that an agreement to extend the current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, including future Olympic participation, could be announced by the NHL too.
The podcast is free, and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @The Rink